Hayley Robinson helped lead her team to a district championship last season. (Photo courtesy of Laura Robinson.)

Bloomingdale High School senior flag football player Hayley Robinson was selected as a finalist for the Positive Coaching Alliance (PCA) Triple-Impact Competitor Scholarship.

According to the website, Positive Coaching Alliance is a nonprofit developing “Better Athletes, Better People” by providing student-athletes a character-building experience. Each year, PCA awards over 100 scholarships of $1,000 or more to high school student-athletes based on their responses to questions pertaining to how they meet the standard defined in three categories, including Personal Mastery (making oneself better), Leadership (making one’s teammates better) and Honoring the Game (making the game better).

“I feel honored to be recognized for my accomplishments as a student-athlete,” said Robinson. “I never knew flag football would have such a positive impact on my life, but through the mentoring I have received from being a PCA-Tampa Bay Triple-Impact Competitor Scholarship Finalist, I realize that I really have learned a lot of lessons and gained many skills from playing competitively, which I use on and off the field. I know the lessons and skills will also play a part in my transition into becoming a college student, and they will continue to help me throughout my life. This experience has helped me view being a student-athlete from a different perspective.”

The senior submitted her application last May and was notified this August that she was a finalist. Three people submitted recommendations for Robinson, including her guidance counselor, Amanda Raschke, and two of her flag football coaches, Head Coach Larry Langston and Chris Peters. In addition, she wrote an essay about how she best represents a Triple-Impact Competitor through its standards of Personal Mastery, Leadership and Honoring the Game.

Robinson has had two virtual meetings where she learned about the PCA-Tampa Bay mentors. She will be a part of a roundtable at AMALIE Arena on Monday, October 18, which will be the finalists’ first time meeting in person. The interview will consist of small group discussions, which are part of the evaluation process for the scholarship.

Robinson said that the mentors, who have broad sports and business experience, make themselves readily available. She has reached out to them for additional advice on applying to colleges, classes she should take to help reach her goals and internships. She feels this has been very beneficial to her for when she goes to college because she will have a better idea early on of the actions she needs to take, which will help guide her to be successful in getting involved in the career she chooses.

“Some words of advice I have taken away from our Mentor Highlight meetings are, ‘You get out of it what you put into it,’ ‘Don’t be complacent-stay hungry’ and ‘Follow your passion and do what you love.’ I can apply this way of thinking not only in my final season of flag football but in any future activities,” said Robinson.

Robinson, who plans on attending the University of Central Florida next year, was uncertain about what she wanted to major in. She said that this process has helped her decide that she wants to do something in the area of sports, such as marketing, advertising or coordinating sporting events. There are a total of 50 nominees, 25 of whom will receive a scholarship. Award winners will be announced in November.

“I’m happy that I will get to meet the other students who are also finalists, since we are all going through the same process and have similar values,” said Robinson. “Learning about our mentors’ experiences and how they are using lessons and skills they learned as high school athletes in their careers, has been very motivating. I am starting to realize my potential through this experience, and I look forward to using this new confidence from here on out.”

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Nick Nahas has written for the Osprey Observer since 2016. He has lived in the Valrico area since 2002 and has his bachelor’s degree in mass communications from the University of South Florida. He is dedicated to covering sports in Hillsborough County at every level.